Antimicrobial Resistance in the News

This important subject getting is high profile attention this week on a global and national scale.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a subject I have posted on many times here in recent years from 2015 to date; most recently asking what we can learn from the covid pandemic.  AMR can be regarded as a ‘silent pandemic’.


by Dr Julie Charlesworth 17/6/21


Vaccination Dose 2

Yesterday. All’s well. Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Proud of everybody’s achievements in making this happen. To all involved – thank you!

Vaccination dose 2I’ve definitely been here before and here I am again back for more.

See also previous post on Dose 1 experience and more information: Covid-19 Vaccination: a personal perspective.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth  6/5/21


Science & Society. ESOF2020 gets a stamp of approval; a resounding success.

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), is the largest biennial general science meeting in Europe.

* International * Multidisciplinary * Science & Technology * Society & Policy *

“There was never a question of cancelling this event! It was unthinkable precisely during this crucial period in our history, where the discussion between Science and Society is more important than ever.” Michael Matlosz, president of EuroScience.

Stefano Fantoni, Champion of ESOF2020 remarked, “We must not be afraid of knowledge especially in times of crisis”.


ESOF2020, scheduled for July this year, had to be delayed due to the covid-19 crisis. Trieste, the European City of Science 2020, rose to the challenges and restrictions imposed by the pandemic. ESOF developed and organised ‘an innovative hybrid organisational model’ for the conference with in-person and on-line sessions running for 5 days from September 2nd; thus, enabling maximum participation. ‘Online visitors came from 52 countries across 5 continents.’

Programmes were packed with intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking sessions: excellent keynote talks, a plethora of diverse presentations, and panel sessions. There were even some exhibition stands as well.

Three key themes were SCIENCE, BUSINESS, and CAREERS.

I think the revised timing proved to be even better because covid-19 also needed to be discussed widely, openly and across many disciplines; with national and international perspectives and from many aspects of science and society. Moreover, other than the current pandemic, there is much more going on in the world and in the world of science that needs to be debated and discussed. Science communication is very important as is the subject of communication itself.

ESOF (and everyone involved) – can be proud of providing an important and timely platform for discussion and debate during this ‘crucial period’. Italy and Trieste can also be proud of hosting ESOF2020. The number of expert scientists and eminent authorities who participated is noteworthy and included the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

My final thought:
When something is important enough – you can do it.
Adapt and even experiment.
Take the learning forward

Sometimes, in some ways the result can be something better!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 12/9/20

[The photos include: the brochure I picked up whilst attending the previous ESOF2018; a photo of the slide of a limited-edition stamp to commemorate the event in Trieste; a photo of a slide shown on the final day of ESOF. Open Knowledge. Fair Future. Like a beacon of light in difficult times.]

‘Freedom for science, science for freedom’. Thank you ESOF2020!

Thank you also for granting me Media Accreditation and for the Freedom to dip in and out with access to everything. As a science communicator, I have so many stories to tell from Trieste. It was an exhilarating conference! What an inspiring start to September.

The motto of ESOF2020 Trieste is important and timely.

FREEDOM FOR SCIENCE refers to the open-ended and unresolved questions that science is facing, with method and curiosity, without restrictions of credo or prejudices.’

SCIENCE FOR FREEDOM, on the other hand, refers to the inclusiveness of science and its language, which goes beyond borders and conflicts and brings together people of any colour and gender.’

I will be spreading not only the serious science but also the joy and hope of science.

Watch this space…

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Interesting time for drug development and clinical trials.

It is an interesting time for drug development and clinical trials. The corona virus issues have ignited a groundswell of support. I think we are about to see a surge in reports and results from clinical research, treatment and vaccine development.

We’ll be hearing about efficacy and safety: Questions such as – Does it work? How safe is it? How can production be scaled up to meet needs? What is the risk benefit assessment?

There are laudable collaborative efforts from different disciplines and different sectors nationally and internationally.

There are well-defined processes in place to ensure good practice and regulation. There will be innovative proposals for fast-tracking promising leads. There are likely to be exciting findings and also disappointing findings, and most probably some surprising findings – such is the nature of research and development.

Communication will also be key. Fake news and over-hyped reports are potential concerns. There is a sense of urgency. There also needs to be a degree of patience as well because sound scientific evidence, fact-checking, rigorous testing and methodology are very important.

These are interesting times and there are a plethora of good intentions and talented people working flat-out.

I think we can be realistic and hopeful too!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 27/4/20

Publication on Population Health Intervention Research: Proud to be a Co-author

I am proud to be a co-author of a new and key publication in the field of population health intervention research (PHIR). This is the culmination of a challenging and very interesting 2-year project, involving experts from a number of different disciplines and fields.

It is published by Springer Nature in the Open Access journal ‘Trials’. Click here.

“Population health intervention research: what is the place for pilot studies?”
Authors: Lehana Thabane, Linda Cambon, Louise Potvin, Jeanine Pommier, Joëlle Kivits, Laetitia Minary, Kareen Nour, Pierre Blaise, Julie Charlesworth, François Alla and Discussion Panel.

Involvement in this international collaborative project and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.

More to follow about this PHIR publication and involvement in related work.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Work/Life Balance: Springtime ‘Walking the talk’


‘Walking the talk’ with the month of April 2019 spent in Nice, France.

A great thing about being an independent consultant is that much of the work can be done from anywhere – I have a particular fondness for Nice.

Many of you might recognise from one of my photos (the sea-view, from my LinkedIn photo header of several years), that I use my distinctive A Tree of Life Sciences® logo and image as a watermark on my slides in presentations etc.

It’s invigorating to get away and create an environment to facilitate creative thinking and fresh ideas; this time developing talks.

Life throws all sorts of things at us all, over the years; but these days I am loving my work and being able to contribute something a bit different on occasions.

It was great to get away on this occasion in Nice, France. It is also great to be back home, in the UK.

Returned to the UK and discovered something new for the ‘The Spring Collection’

Full of the joys of Spring and with a spring in my step, I’d like to share some photos taken on 5th May on a family outing.

I wanted to capture a moment to share the magical experience of a walk in a bluebell wood, near to home in England! Awash with a carpet of bluebells, indicators of ancient British woodland.

For 6 things you might not know about bluebells click here

Here’s to work/life balance!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

(All my own photos. P.S. that’s me and and my hubby of 39 years! We are also proud parents and grandparents together!)

Science, poetry and a personal thank you

I was honoured and very chuffed to have received a personal thank you from the University of Manchester for my support of the University of Manchester Access Programme (MAP) and in addition my student mentoring as part of the Manchester Gold programme in particular the impact on one of their PhD students.

A reception with about 150 people was held on February 27th in the Manchester Art Gallery. What a wonderful welcome with a personalised ‘party bag’ – actually it was very tastefully presented and it included a beautiful limited edition art print of Manchester University on the front of the card. Inside was a handwritten personal letter – what a lovely thoughtful gesture. It will be treasured!

The event was hosted by the university chancellor and poet, Lemm Sissay. Lemm opened the celebrations with a stirring and inspiring rendition of his poem ‘Making a difference’ – now that’s how to connect with an audience (learning point to self here)! A participant in the MAP recounted how the programme had truly ‘made a difference’ to her life and career opportunities.

Meeting Lemm Sissay

The guests at the reception were made to feel like special friends. It was great to see some now familiar faces and also to meet new ‘friends’ with diverse talents and careers: people with a common respect and fondness for the University who had contributed their time and ‘given back’ towards the future.

There was much mingling and serious talk; merriment and banter; and opportunities for happy photo shots.

[Note to myself – in 2016, the first time I saw Lemm speaking I think it may have rekindled the embers of my inner poet self – a little part of my soul. Subsequently, after a particularly inspiring science event I briefly dabbled in the art of poetry myself with a short poem. Better stick to the day job me thinks – but I’m happy to be a scientist and science communicator who might occasionally get carried away in the moment and burst into poetry (of a sort) – much to the embarrassment of my family. After all, science can also be ‘sheer poetry’!]

I left the Gallery with a sense of the importance of friendships and giving. I had a lovely evening and I very much appreciated being acknowledged in such a friendly and personal way.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

World Cancer Day: Tomorrow’s Treatments Made in Manchester

What an Inspiring event!
The event was held on February 5th 2019 in honour of World Cancer Day 2019. (Bright Building, Manchester Science Parks, UK).

Leading research conducted in Manchester is improving treatments for patients across the world. The format of the event included a review of recent achievements and areas of research activities; the vision for the future; compelling stories from 2 patient advocates; and a clear and informative panel discussion on Proton Beam Therapy. Presentations were followed by a reception with a chance to meet and put questions to some of the scientists and experts actively involved in research in Manchester.

The progress and achievements are phenomenal! The vision for the future is challenging, promising and positive.

Thank you to the organisers for the invitation to attend this special event.

For more about this read on…

We heard about research activities and achievements – recent, current and on the horizon. Here is an indication of just some of the exciting and important areas of research in Manchester; with a few comments and thoughts:

Prevention and screening – addressing questions such as: “Can we use circulating DNA or proteins in the blood to find lung cancer at its earliest stages?” “Can we use it to detect recurrences at the earliest stages?”

Aiming to enable health screening to be earlier and easier for some patients who are at higher risk (and who might otherwise present with more advanced lung disease). For example, a pilot study in Rochdale used mobile vans in more convenient locations for patients. This is now being further evaluated in a wider NHS roll-out taking ‘screening to supermarket car parks’ (recent media coverage).

Approaches in research and treatment taking into account multi-morbidity – because people with cancer are living with other diseases.

Enabling real time follow up of patients – using technologies to see how patients are doing in real time.

Precision medicine – the use of linked bio-banks, advances in genomics and informatics to try to close the gap in translational research and treatment of patients.

The new Proton beam facility located here in Manchester – the first patient was treated in December 2018. Pioneering research and collaborations are being facilitated and encouraged.

‘Team Science’ – as the way forward. ‘Cancer research conducted in an interdependent fashion in a large group across many subjects to deeply integrate knowledge.’

‘Town Hall’ events are also enabling wider discussion including the involvement of patients.

Finally, an overall aim is to provide the best cancer care – with opportunities facilitated by the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) involving 3 partners working so closely together: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University and Cancer Research UK. There will be interesting findings to report.
Of course, not all research will lead to big breakthroughs. Research involves a lot of hard work and can be frustrating and even disappointing at times. On the other hand, science can also be surprising; serendipity is also a factor on occasions. With a wealth of sound research activity, cross-disciplinary teams and fresh perspectives there is every reason to feel optimistic that cancer research will be contributing to knowledge and understanding of fundamental biology, mechanisms, real life implications and benefits for patients.

Life can throw up unexpected circumstances and events. A terrible blow was dealt by the devastating fire at the Paterson building in April 2017.
There are now prospects of a new building and new opportunities with ‘team science’.

There was a palpable ‘buzz’ in the air at this event in February.

As I have said before there’s a lot happening in Manchester UK these days!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth


The Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) is a unique partnership between the University, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
Further information about the MCRC

Previous related posts:
Feeling proud and honoured to be invited to such events which also included a preview of the opening of the MCRC in 2015
and here is a short report of a visit in 2016 also touching on why the location holds special memories from my own early research years.